Even amidst our modern comforts, life is fraught with anxiety. Most of us don’t have to worry about warlords controlling access to clean drinking water, but humanity is incredibly resilient when it comes to finding new things to dread. You know, like worry whether an avocado is ripe. With so much hype (not to mention concerns about environmentally ethical sourcing and high prices), perhaps it was inevitable that avocado would qualify as one of the unique stressors in 21st century society among millennials.
Thanks to a new survey conducted by Goldsmith’s University of London, we now know exactly where “avocado anxiety” ranks among a list of modern problems. Researchers found that one in three millennials admitted to feeling a palpable sense of worry over whether or not their avocado is under or over-ripened.
Avocado fear comes in 14th on the list of most common first-world problems, sandwiched (toasted?) between “having to get dressed to open the front door” and “having numerous items of clothing on one hanger because you haven’t got enough,” which sounds like an incredibly specific and relatively easy to solve challenge. The #1 first-world problem? Vague delivery windows that force us to wait at home to receive packages.
Maybe avocado anxiety has something to do with the fact that two thirds of Britons describe their lives as “extremely, very or fairly busy”. Perhaps our fast-paced lives make us too impatient to wait for our avocados to properly mature. Maybe we’re so preoccupied with a complex web of obligations that we don’t have time to enjoy one of our favorite foods until it’s too late.
Given how some have used the avocado as a scapegoat to explain why millennials can’t achieve homeownership, it’s perhaps poetic that 50-year-olds included in the survey recall “saving for a first home” as the fourth-most common stressor they remember from twenty years ago. Today, “no free wi-fi at a hotel occupies that slot.” The times certainly are a changin’.